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Monthly Archives: October 2010

We are using Clone Brews’ recipe as a base to build our IPA we are doing today.

IBU target is in the mid 70’s with an alcohol level of ~6.5%. OG target of 1.066 and final of 1.017

We are also working on optimizing our pump set-up, hose lengths, etc.

We now have 7 thermometers. Hopefully we get our temps correct.


The dry yeast is a beast. Total volcano action. Lost about a quart of wort/beer at most.
Good to know the yeast is alive and healthy.


Our low reading mash tun dial thermometer tested accurate within 3 or so degrees of a couple of control thermos.

I am now thinking something in our mash tun setup is causing a poor reading. Maybe our sight glass setup is to blame, or the level at which we are mounting it. Either way, we need a better set-up.

The best performing thermo I have is the Taylor digital. I bought two, and one arrived with a dead battery and the other got wet internally despite its waterproof claim.

I cleaned them out and replaced their batteries. They both seem to work and are within a half a degree of each other at room temp. Best of all, they can be calibrated.

I hope to fashion some type of extra waterproofing for them. Perhaps I will wrap it in saran wrap. I thought of sugru but it is not food safe.

Well, perhaps we were too hasty in making a judgment about the Belgian yeast. It worked! Well, started anyway. Fingers crossed.

The temp controller is working well too. Now within 0.2 degrees C of target.

After 18 hours, our American Ale yeast is going strong. The Belgian, not so much. We pitched two vials of White Labs to boot. Hoping it is just a slow start.

The temp controller is working but reading a bit low. Overshot by almost a full degree as it brought the temps down for the first time. At the lower temp, the “heat” lamp is lit. If we had a heating element, we could have a closer temp.

We kegged our two seasonal beers. They are both pretty weak. Too thin due to our poor efficiencies. If they don’t work we should have enough time to crank one out for Christmas. Gassing to 2.5 volumes or 12psi at 40 degrees.

Today we brewed 10 gallons of Blonde Ale, somewhat duplicating one of our best beers yet.

We pitched an American Ale yeast on one half. We used a dry yeast for the first time. The other half is fermenting with a Belgian Ale yeast.

Me missed our mashing temperature again. This time by only two degrees. We did a small decoction to bring the temp back up and mashed for an extra 15 minutes. I think our efficiency was better than 70% (according to Beer Tools Pro).

All went well, except a small miscalculation had us using half the hops called for in the recipe. We may dry hop to bring up the hop flavor or we may just leave it. We will figure it out after we taste it before kegging.

We brewed two seasonal ales, a Christmas and a Pumpkin. Our brew day began at 5:00pm on a Friday and ended at 2:00am on Saturday morning. The long hours, late night and a few beers each conspired to mess us up.

We missed our mash temps by a lot. Our thermometers were all wrong, the pumpkin absorbing heat and a lack of attention all added up to less than 50% efficiency on one of the beers and less than 60% on the other.

Lots of lessons learned.